|“A new command I give you: Love one another. |
As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
The word “love” has become one of the supercharged words in our culture. In the English language this word has so many shades of meaning. We may say to someone we admire and appreciate, “I love you.” But, the word doesn’t hold the same meaning that it does when we speak of loving our spouse. When we say we love our children, the word has an even different shade of meaning.
When we say we love our country, or we love the place where we live, or we love to eat a good steak, the word takes on even different shades of meaning. The problem comes from having a single word to express a whole list of various emotions.
Over the years, I shared many times that the New Testament Greek language has four distinct words for love: agape, storge, phileo, and eros. Each word has a very distinctly different meaning. All four words are translated “love” in the English language.
Speaking to His disciples, Jesus gave them this instruction, found in John 13:34:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
In this verse, our Lord uses the New Testament Greek word “agape”—God-breathed love. This is a love that arises within someone because God has chosen to breathe His love into that person. Agape is a totally selfless, totally committed, totally unending love. It survives no matter what may happen. It deepens as time passes. It creates an inseparable bond between the one who loves and the beloved.
As we begin a new day, let’s ask God to give us His God-breathed love for our fellow believers. If we do this, we surely will experience a great outpouring of God’s grace in our relationships with each other.